There are plenty of travelers out there who harbor very little love for long-haul flights. In fact, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a person who actually *likes* long-haul flights. They’re just not something the average person enjoys.
I mean, a long-haul flight essentially means being confined to a couple of square feet for hours upon end, being fed dubious in-flight “meals,” and being forced to breathe the same dry, recycled air as dozens (or hundreds) of other people.
Sound appealing? … I thought not.
Despite not exactly loving long-haul flights, though, I have nevertheless become quite familiar with them over the past 7 years. I’m a traveler, after all, and distance (or flight time) has never kept me from visiting a destination.
Here, then, are the 3 longest of the long flights I’ve ever been on:
Atlanta, Georgia, –> Honolulu, Hawaii — 9 hours
My flight from Ohio to Hawaii a year ago was supposed to be broken up into nice, manageable chunks. I was supposed to fly from the Midwest, to Denver, to Seattle, to Honolulu, with no flight lasting more than a few hours. But a last-minute ice storm cancelled my original itinerary, and I was rebooked (by a lovely Delta representative, I may add) on a long-haul flight from Atlanta nonstop to Honolulu. Despite never leaving the United States, the flight lasted a whopping 9 hours. Luckily, I had a fantastic seatmate who made the long hours fly by.
Los Angeles, California –> Auckland, New Zealand — 12 hours
I’ve been to New Zealand 3 separate times now — meaning 6 long-haul flights between the U.S. and the South Pacific in total. The flights from Los Angeles from Auckland usually last, on average, about 12 hours, and can be grueling. But, I always make sure to book with Air New Zealand — my favorite airline. A friendly flight crew, decent in-flight meals, and a huge selection of in-flight entertainment makes these long flights almost enjoyable. Almost.
Chicago, Illinois –> Shanghai, China — 14 hours
You’d think flying to NZ from the West Coast would be the longest flight on my list. But no, there’s one that was even longer — a nonstop flight from the Midwest to China. My third year of college, I went with my marching band on performance tour to China, flying a route that took us over the Arctic and Russia. That long-haul flight is the only one on this list that I didn’t fly solo, and having friends on the plane definitely helped. But the flight was still uncomfortable, and the “meal” of Ramen noodles served halfway through the flight did nothing to improve it.
After looking back at these flights, flying to Iceland in March will be nothing, and even any London flights I look into for this summer should be a piece of cake!
What’s the longest flight YOU have ever been on?